Human Rights Day, December 10 2013
Posted by Mary Paige Smith on December 4, 2013
Visit the Human Rights Day website, and you will see that this event “is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favor and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a ‘common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations’, towards which individuals and societies should ‘strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance’. Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights.”
Human Rights Day 2013 also celebrates 20 years of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. At the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in June 1993, 171 states approved the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA). One of the recommendations in the action plan was the creation of a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In December 1993, The UN General Assembly approved the creation of this office.
For 20 years, the Office of the High Commissioner has proven to be a driving force in supporting and defending human rights across the globe. Some of the most important achievements involve bringing issues of human rights to the fore in discussions and formulations of national, regional and international policies. Also high on the list of successes: working for the rights of women, children, migrants, people with disabilities, the elderly, LGBT individuals, indigenous and minority communities, and victims of torture or slavery.
To learn more about these activities, watch the Office of the High Commissioner’s 20th anniversary promotional video, view feature stories from around the world, go to the United Nations Human Rights page on Facebook, and get the latest news on Twitter at #UNRightsAt20.
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